Alex Jones turned his recent trial into a “circus,” John Oliver said on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, which he argued is pretty much on brand.
Jones, a conspiracy theorist, had claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. After standing trial, he was ordered to pay the parents of a 6-year-old boy who killed in the tragedy $45.2 million in punitive damages in addition to $4.1 million in compensatory damages.
“The way he’s handled this trial is almost a master a class of what not to do in court, starting with the fact that he lied so many times that the exasperated judge had to say this,” Oliver said before showing a clip of Judge Maya Guerra Gamble scolding Jones in court: “It seems absurd to instruct you, again, that you must tell the truth while you testify, yet here I am. You must tell the truth when you testify. This is not your show.”
Said Oliver: “You can understand her frustration there. When it comes to rules the judge doesn’t expect to have to spell out, ‘don’t lie isn court’ is right up there with ‘you have to leave your beer outside,’ ‘it’s not admissible evidence if it happened in a dream,’ and ‘we do not celebrate Halloween in here.’”
Oliver also showed a clip of the judge telling Jones he wasn’t allowed to chew gum or eat food in court after she saw him chewing on something. Jones claimed he had had a tooth pulled and was chewing on gauze. He repeatedly asked if she wanted to see the gauze as she insisted to him that she had no interest: “I don’t want to see the inside of your mouth.”
“If you heard just her side of that interaction, from ‘spit it out’ to ‘I don’t want to see the inside of your mouth,’ you would think she was talking to A) a small child or B) a dog. You would not guess she was talking to professional conspiracist/grown man Alex Jones,” Oliver said.
But the more “pathetic” thing, he said, was when cameras caught Jones later that day turning away from the judge and clearly putting something in his mouth.
“Obviously, a lot of this was deliberate shtick on Jones’ part,” Oliver said. “He decided to make this court hearing a circus because he’s in the circus business.”
This was made all the more “despicable,” Oliver added, since the parents of one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy were present in the courtroom.
Oliver also showed a clip of the prosecuting attorney informing Jones, who was on the stand, that 12 days prior, Jones’ attorneys “messed up” and sent a copy of every single text message on Jones’ phone from the past two years, “which is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have a text message about Sandy Hook,” the lawyer told Jones.
“Oh shit,” Oliver said. “Credit to that lawyer for having the superhuman patience to sit on those text messages for 12 whole days.”
He added that with two more trials coming up and the Jan. 6 committee requesting the phone records, “at the very least, this phone thing could make [Jones’] life much more difficult — and for a while. And that is something that we should all be allowed to enjoy. Because to wake up one morning and find out that Alex Jones’ lawyers mistakenly shared his cell phone records is a true blessing. We don’t deserve this, but one thing’s for sure: He definitely does.”